VW Golf Mark 7 Bluemotion, sounds like a Golf, drives like a Golf, it’s a perfect high mileage lease car

VW have a well-developed  range of  Bluemotion products. Its their  economy department and over the last five years has rolled out some fantastic car, much-loved by the high mileage leasing drivers. The new  Mark 7 Golf  Blue Motion, the latest from the fold,  is most economical Golf that they have ever produced.  Not only have they improved build quality but they now have a diesel, not a hybrid, that has an emission figure of 85 g/km  and an average economy of over 88 mpg. Even as a person lease car, this car has got to make sense. 

Broadly speaking it is capable of  close on 1000 miles on one tank of fuel and  for business use, time spent at the pumps is down time.

Just a 1.6 litre? 

The latest derivative of the 1.6 diesel is now 110 bhp and even though so economical, goes well and will do over 120 mph.  The car is quiet to drive and  taught as a result of being lowered slightly. It is over 60 kg lighter than its predecessor but more powerful and aerodynamically better, wind noise is negligible, a result of the aerodynamics. VW have added start-stop and battery regeneration charging. It sits on low rolling resistance tyres, which although noisier, save fuel.

Unbelievable tax rates. 

As a 40% tax payer this car will only cost you £87.92 a month. The road fund licence is zero, the same as most hybrids but you get to drive a Golf.

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If you use a car for business, either your own car or a company car, then you must account properly for your fuel use or reclaim your fuel costs.

The maximum claim is 45 pence per mile for genuine business use, but it surely isnt that easy?

Well, HMRC each year issues a data sheet of Advisory Fuel Rates, they are reviewed every three months and they take account of engine size, fuel type and current fuel prices.

Next, record every single mile that you do, the accuracy and detail of your records can be used as evidence in any argument with the HMRC. Now, assuming you stick to current AFR rates, tax and NIC are not applicable, so best to follow guidelines.

If your fuel is free, then you must discount your private mileage from your total use, then by applying the AFR you will have no free fuel tax to pay.

Suppose you use your own car and use it for work. Then the Authorised Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAPs)  are used to calculate reimbursements. They are designed to cover the running costs including insurance, road tax and MOT .  A little known additional claim is the 5 pence per mile that is available extra for any mileage with another member of staff.

Vauxhall intend being number one in Europe, with cars like the Insignia, they are going about it the right way

 

 

The top man at Vauxhall/Opel in Europe is determined to make them number one. Having invested heavily in R&D for economy and safety, taking pointers from the inexorable push up market of Ford following their huge investments. Ford have as a result widened the gap in sales volumes and car quality in virtually every model, then came the Insignia.

Insignia Interior

Insignia

 

 

Stand out from the crowd.

The Insignia sits well among Mercs and BM’s, but put it on a car park with a bunch of every-day cars and it really is an eye-full, turning heads. The facelift, in our opinion a great improvement, it’s now quieter, better to drive and cheaper.  Head to head, this car has got Ford worried about its own equivalent, the Mondeo, to the point where an all new Mondeo is months away from its first shows. Its 15 years since Vauxhall got one over Ford, with the Cavalier, so the investment seems to have paid off.

 

 

Quiet, and cheap to run.

Aerodynamic research has brought about a slick, good-looking body, made of modern light-weight materials and powered by engines that have been developed over 20 years with sister company Isuzu. With the 2.0 turbo-diesel Ecoflex version of the Insignia, combined cycle figures of better than 70mpg are achievable and CO2 emissions of 99g/km are market leading by a long way. The car is priced right and its emissions/economy figures are keeping in the mind of all the biggest fleet buyers.  As a cash for car choice, its right up with some hybrids.

 

 

Easy to live with.

Day today  this is a comfortable car, the seats will adjust to any size driver and the steering wheel adjusts also. The dash is pleasing to the eye and in use its logical and has no rattles. The material choices that Vauxhall have used in the Insignia are a big step up, if the upcoming new models are this good, maybe Vauxhall will begin to challenge Ford for number one.

Ford enters the hybrid market with the new Mondeo and aims to retake the fleet market

The 2014 Mondeo

Two new hybrid versions of the soon to be announced Mondeo will make up part of the line up. A regular hybrid and a plug in that will be called Energi. The Energi version is hoped to have emissions of less than 50g/km CO2 which undercuts emission requirements in Europe for several years to come. As a company car, the benefit in kind advantages of such emissions and its economy of over 80mpg are going to make the new Mondeo a strong contender. As a high mileage lease vehicle, figures like these will put it head and shoulders above the alternatives.

First tests of the standard Hybrid have reported real life use consumption of better than 65mpg and emissions of less than 98g/km CO2.  Yet, the combination of a strong 2.0 petrol motor and the electric drive give the Mondeo a sporty feel in a well sorted chassis. The Energi is a heavier car as it has a larger battery to allow for a 20 mile range on battery only following a plug in charge.  As emissions are an average of mixed basket use, the 50g figure is a fair representation.

 

Expect the new Mondeo at the end of 2014 with launches during the year. This is as much as a year behind schedule, due to factory disputes and production being moved.

 

Other additions to the engine range will be a 1.5 litre ecoboost petrol with two litre performance.  We expect the 1.5 to have better economy and lower CO2 figures than the engines it will replace. Ford have not committed to whether the 1.0 Ecoboost engines will be used. In a Focus of similar mass, the engine is strong but marketing remains an issue.

 

One confirmed diesel has caught the eye already, a four-wheel drive with a dual clutch six speed auto. To commit to a model of this spec so early in a launch is unusual.

 

 

The new model Ford Ranger, what more could you want in a pick up

Running a pick up as your company car is not as lucrative a tax saving as it used to be. In 2007 the company car benefit in kind was adjusted from £500 to £3000 fixed, no matter the CO2. That said, if you had a comparable four by four instead of a quality pick up, the company car tax burden is £190 to £210 a month more. That is a great start toward paying the monthly lease cost of your new pick up, but should it be the Ford?

Ford Ranger from Vanlease UK

For the last five years, Ford has invested heavily in safety in safety and vehicle efficiency. The new Ranger benefits from much of the research and also tops the pick-up tree for carrying and towing capacities. Ford build quality is now just about a match for VW and other market leaders, the Ranger is no exception with a  superb interior fit and finish.

 

F150 pick up

The new Ranger is a result of Ford working towards a smaller number of products and the as the smaller brother of the F-150, the worlds best-selling truck, the Ranger has replaced units in Africa, South America and Australia as well as Europe. It is put together in Thailand and Argentina and quality is superb.

 

The new Ranger has recently won the International Pick-Up award. Tests carried out in difficult terrains and carrying large loads or towing at the outer limits of all vehicles, the Ranger wiped the board, scoring more points from the judges than second and third places combined.

 

Ranger Dashboard

The new Duratorq engines are gems, they are more economical and stronger with  Euro 5 emissions. The Ranger has also been granted an NCAP 5 safety standard, the first commercial ever. The cab is sound and heat insulated, its quieter than before and with car-like specification, you can easily live day-to-day with it.

This is after all a vehicle that is meant to be able on and off-road. Ford have installed 4wd on the fly, with rear wheel drive and selectable four wheel drive at up to 70 mph.  The Ranger has been fitted with a low range with a locking diff unnecessary due to the complex traction system on board.

 

Interior storage

In practical terms the Ranger is thoroughbred Ford with superb storage and power points, even down to a store under the rear seats. The passenger side storage compartment will store a 16 inch laptop.

Make no mistake, this is no car. But among its peers the Ford is tops right now and has sent everybody else running back to the design boards to catch up.

 

Car Choice is being driven by miles per gallon and whole of life costs

A recent article on the BBC website,  reported an article published by the AA. It highlighted how people are struggling to keep up with fuel price rises. The same trend is being reflected in the car leasing market where private leasing and business leasing choice is driven by miles per gallon and whole of life costs

In Spring this year the OFT raided several large oil companies after suspicions were raised that price fixing was rife in the industry. After four months, the investigation was stopped after no evidence was found.  Many have questioned whether this was too soon.  At the time, demand for fuel was reduced by 10-20% due to extreme Winter weather, petrol costs at the pumps rose by 10p per litre, this sparked the investigation

 

Under the Mileage Allowance Payment Scheme, a driver can claim up to 45 pence per mile for the first 10,000 miles of business use of a car. Clearly then, the more economical a car, the better this scheme is for the driver whilst not impacting on the employer

 

Factors such as this are further pushing demand for so-called eco cars. Hybrids from Toyota and Honda, with rivals to come from Mercedes-Benz and several others are also a reflections of European 2014 regulations for emissions, which go hand in hand with economy

 

There is no doubt that fuel is not going to get cheaper and eco-cars are going to continue to be the growing  market.  Where a company has high-mileage lease cars, the savings will prove too tempting to refuse, especially as fuel consumptions are getting lower and lower

 

Taking your company car on holiday to Europe?

We can’t argue with your reasoning, its warmer, there are less cars, the roads are better, the wine is better……………..

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When did Audi last drop their prices? Right now!!

 

The Audi A4 SE Technik  is easily the manufacturers most popular company car.  Already a well-appointed car, being based on the SE then having kit added, the Technik has been treated to a freshen up by those that know best at Ingolstadt.

In come 18” ten spoke alloys for all but the TDie and metallic paint has been thrown in as well. Milano leather upholstery a new navigation system which is hard-drive based. Audi have also treated us to Audi music interface,  ipod connectivity and even included parking sensors.

Audi A4 SE Technik models will get more kit but will cost less too. The SE Technik option is available on all four-cylinder A4 models; it takes as its starting point the SE trim level, but adds a package of technology and comfort features for a relatively small premium.

With all these thrown in, Audi have reduced the price of the car by £1000 to £1300 dependant on the model. For those faced with the company car or cash question, Audi seem to rolling the right dice.